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Group Offers $1M Prize to Nix Mercury in Mining

Award will go to anyone who discovers an affordable and reliable alternative.
Jul 24, 2019 8:23 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Nonprofit organization Mercury Free Mining (MFM) has organized a global challenge campaign to eliminate the use of the dangerous metal in the industry, with the winning idea earning a $1 million prize, it said Tuesday.

More than 15 million artisanal gold miners inadvertently release 8,000 pounds of mercury into the environment every day, causing irreversible neurological damage, MFM explained. However, there is currently no alternative and safe process.

MFM CEO Toby Pomeroy is putting together a group of people from the jewelry, gemstone, mining, refining and gold-trading sector to oversee the competition. The individual, team or organization that comes up with an affordable and reliable alternative to using mercury in mining will win, MFM noted.

“Discovering the solution to [this] persistent problem…will contribute to the health and longevity of all life on earth,” Pomeroy explained.

MFM’s board of directors, which includes Bill Boyajian, former CEO of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) president Ronnie VanderLinden, will also work on the project.

“We are facing a huge problem, and we have an opportunity to unite as an industry and make a tremendous global difference,” Boyajian added.

Image: Toby Pomeroy (left) with artisanal miners in Colombia. (Mercury Free Mining)
Tags: Bill Boyajian, Gemological Institute of America, GIA, IDMA, International Diamond Manufacturers Association, Mercury Free Mining, MFM, Rapaport News, Ronnie VanderLinden, Toby Pomeroy
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